THE treatment meted out to Kevin and Charlene Taylor in the Philippines raises urgent questions, not just about that country’s officials, but also Britain’s.

According to Kevin’s latest update, charges relating to the alleged defrauding of jobseekers have been dropped. In spite of this, the couple must remain in jail until various formalities have been finalised.

The situation would be disturbing had the Taylors been detained for a matter of months or even weeks.

But they have in fact been held in custody since 2009.

By any measure, for anybody to spend half a decade in prison without any conviction being lodged against them is unacceptable.

Thanks to the brutality of the old Marcos regime, the Philippines were once an international byword for brutality and injustice. The nation has shed this reputation since the dictatorship was toppled by courageous pro-democracy campaigners in the 1980s, but the fate of the Taylors suggests that its justice system is still far from satisfactory.

Equally far from satisfactory, however, is the record of the British authorities throughout this affair.

In view of what has befallen the couple, we had every right to expect strong and strident protests to be directed at the government of the Philippines, irrespective of any diplomatic fallout.

The least our authorities can do now is demand that the couple are freed immediately and receive some recompense for their years of confinement.

The silence from Whitehall is deafening and disgraceful.